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Camping For Boys By H. W. Gibson Characters: 23036

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


We may live without friends, we may live without books,

But civilized man cannot live without cooks.

Good Cooking

The normal boy sums up life in two words of three letters each: "F-u-n" and "E-a-t." As long as there is plenty of fun and plenty to eat, he thinks life is worth living, and he is not so far from the truth, for it is only when the fun of living dies within us, and our digestive apparatus refuses to do its function that we "become of all men most miserable." A boy will put up with all sorts of inconvenience but rebels at once at poor food and bad cooking. The good nature, congenial atmosphere, and contentedness of camp life is largely due to good cooking. Economize in every other way, but think twice before cheap cooks are employed or a cheap grade of food purchased.

[Illustration: Where They Eat to Live]

A good cook will economize, he knows what to do with left-overs and how to prepare menus of variety. The quantity of swill soon reveals the worth of the cook. In a large camp a hundred dollars may easily find its way into the garbage can because of cheap cooks and poor food. A growing boy demands relatively more of the tissue-building kind of food than a grown person, because the body is being built up. When the full stature is reached the tissue-building part of the food is only required to take the place of that worn out each day. Professor Atwater has told us that the boy of fifteen or sixteen requires ninety per cent of the food ration of the adult man engaged in moderate muscular work. Boys at twelve require seventy per cent.

Vegetables, fruits, cereals, bread, nuts and meats furnish the essentials. Sugar and fat have only part of them. Coffee and tea have no food values except for the milk and sugar added. They tend to check certain normal secretion in the body and should not be used during growth.

Food Charts

The United States Department of Agriculture publishes a series of fifteen food charts of exceptional value. Leaders and cooks will find them helpful in providing and planning the food for the boys. Boys will be interested in the information given and the attractive form of presentation. The set costs $1.00. Send to Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. The following table is a condensation of the facts given on the charts, and will help in planning menus:

Prepared by C. F. LANGWORTHY. Expert in charge of Nutrition Investigation.

Carbohy- Calories

Chart 1 Protein Fat drates Ash Water per

Whole milk 3.3 4.0 5.0 0.7 87.0 310

Skim milk 3.4 0.3 5.1 0.7 90.5 165

Buttermilk 3.0 0.5 4.8 0.7 91.0 160

Cream 2.5 18.5 4.5 2.5 74.0 865

Chart 2

Whole egg 14.8 10.5 -- 1.0 73.7 700

Egg white 13.0 0.2 -- 0.6 86.2 265

Egg yolk 16.1 33.3 -- 1.1 49.5 1608

Cream cheese 25.9 33.7 2.4 3.8 34.2 1950

Cottage cheese 20.9 1.0 4.3 1.8 72.0 510

Chart 3

(edible portion of)

Lamb chop 17.6 28.3 -- 1.0 53.1 1540

Pork 16.9 30.1 -- 1.0 52.0 1580

Smoked ham 16.1 38.8 -- 4.8 40.3 1940

Beefsteak 18.6 18.5 -- 1.0 61.9 1130

Dried beef 30.0 6.6 -- 9.1 54.3 840

Chart 4

Cod, lean fish 15.8 0.4 -- 1.2 82.6 325

Cod, Salt 21.5 0.3 -- 24.7 53.5 410

Oyster 6.2 1.2 3.7 2.0 86.9 235

Smoked herring 36.4 15.8 -- 13.2 34.6 1355

Mackerel, fat 18.3 7.1 -- 1.2 73.4 645

Chart 5

Olive Oil -- 100.0 -- -- -- 4080

Bacon 9.4 67.4 -- 4.4 18.8 3030

Beef suet 4.7 81.8 -- 0.3 13.2 3510

Butter 1.0 85.0 -- 3.0 11.0 3410

Lard -- 100.0 -- -- -- 4080

Chart 6

Corn 10.0 4.3 73.4 1.5 10.8 1800

Wheat 12.2 1.7 73.7 1.8 10.6 1750

Buckwheat 10.0 2.2 73.2 2.0 12.6 1600

Oat 11.8 5.0 69.2 3.0 11.0 1720

Rice 8.0 2.0 77.0 1.0 12.0 1720

Rye 12.2 1.5 73.9 1.9 10.5 1750

Chart 7

White bread 9.2 1.3 53.1 1.1 35.3 1215

Whole wh bread 9.7 0.9 49.7 1.3 38.4 1140

Oat breakfast

food (cooked) 2.8 0.5 11.5 0.7 84.5 285

Toasted bread 11.5 1.6 61.2 1.7 24.0 1420

Cornbread 7.9 4.7 46.3 2.2 38.9 1205

Macaroni 3.0 1.5 15.8 1.3 78.4 415

Chart 8

Sugar, granulated -- 100.0 -- -- 1860

Molasses 2.4 -- 69.3 3.2 25.1 1290

Stick candy -- -- 96.5 0.5 3.0 1785

Maple sugar -- -- 82.8 0.9 16.3 1540

Honey 0.4 -- 81.2 0.2 18.2 1520

Chart 9

Parsnip 1.6 0.5 13.5 1.4 83.0 230

Onion 1.6 0.3 9.9 0.6 87.6 225

Potato 2.2 0.1 18.4 1.0 78.3 385

Celery 1.1 -- 3.4 1.0 94.5 8

Carbohy- Fuel Value

Chart 10 Protein Fat drates Ash Water Calories per

Shelled beans. fresh 9.4 0.6 29.1 2.0 58.9 740

Navy beans, dry 22.5 1.8 59.6 3.5 12.6 1600

String beans, green 2.3 0.3 7.4 0.8 89.2 195

Corn, green 3.1 1.1 19.7 0.7 75.4 500

Chart 11

Apple(edible portion) 0.4 0.5 14.2 0.3 84.6 290

Fried fig 4.3 0.3 74.2 2.4 18.8 1475

Strawberry 1.0 0.6 7.4 0.6 90.4 180

Banana 1.3 0.6 22.0 0.8 75.3 460

Chart 12

Grapes(edible portion)1.3 1.6 19.2 0.5 77.4 450

Raisins 2.6 3.3 76.1 3.4 14.6 1605

Canned fruit 1.1 0.1 21.1 0.5 77.2 415

Fruit jelly -- -- 78.3 0.7 21.0 1455

Grape juice 0.2 -- 7.4 0.2 92.2 150

Chart 13

Walnut 16.6 63.4 16.1 1.4 2.5 3285

Chestnut 10.7 7.0 74.2 2.2 5.9 1875

Peanut 25.8 38.6 22.4 2.0 9.2 2500

Peanut butter 29.3 46.5 17.1 5.0 2.1 2825

Coconut, desiccated 6.3 57.4 31.5 1.3 3.5 3121

[Illustration: Chart 14 Functions and Uses of Food; Constituent of Food]

Chart 15


Protein Energy

Condition Considered Grams Calories

Food as purchased 115 3,800

Food eaten 100 3,500

Food digested 95 3,200



Phosphoric acid (P2O5) 3 to 4

Calcium oxid 0.7 to 1.0

Sulphuric acid (SO3) 2 to 3.5

Magnesium oxid 0.3 to 0.5

Potassium oxid 2 to 3

Iron 0.006 to 0.012

Sodium oxid 4 to 6

Clorin 6 to 8

Time required for Digestion of various Foods:

Hrs. Min.

Apples, sweet 1 30

Apples, sour 2

Beans, pod, boiled 2 30

Beef, fresh, rare roasted 3

Beef, dried 3 30

Beets, boiled 3 45

Bread, wheat, fresh 3 40

Bread corn 3 15

Butter (melted) 3 30

Cabbage, raw, with vinegar 2

Cabbage, boiled 4 30

Cheese 3 30

Codfish 2

Custard, baked 2 45

Ducks, wild, roasted 4 30

Eggs, fresh, soft boiled 3

Eggs, fresh, hard boiled 3 30

Eggs, fresh, fried 3 30

Lamb, fresh, boiled 2 30

Milk, raw 2 15

Milk, boiled 2

Parsnips, boiled 2 30

Mutton, roast 3 15

Mutton, boiled 3

Mutton, broiled 3

Pork, roast 5 15

Potato, boiled 3 30

Potato, baked 2 30

Rice, boiled 1

Sago, boiled 1 45

Salmon, boiled 4

Soup, beef, vegetable 4

Soup, chicken 3

Tapioca, boiled 2

Trout, boiled or fried 1 30

Turnips, boiled 3 30

Veal, fresh, boiled 4

Food naturally falls into four classes. Potatoes and grains furnish starches. The starchy foods are heat and force producers. Eggs, meats, nuts, milk, dried beans, peas and lentils furnish nitrogen, and are flesh and muscle producers. Butter, oil, lard, and fatty meats supply fats. Sugar, molasses, honey, fruit, etc., furnish sugar.

Starchy foods should be cooked at a high temperature and either boiled or baked; nitrogenous and fatty foods at lower temperature, prolonging the time. Meats are much better broiled, roasted, or stewed than fried. Vegetables should be steamed or baked so that the juices may not be wasted. Veal and pork (except ham and bacon) should have no place in the menu of a boys' summer camp. Both require from four to five hours and fifteen minutes to digest. Study carefully the above tables and then plan your meals intelligently.

Table of Approximate Weights and Measures Three teaspoonfuls = one tablespoon. Four tablespoonfuls = one wine glass. Two wine glasses = one gill. Two gills = one tumbler or cup. Two cupfuls = one pint. One quart sifted flour = one pound. One quart granulated sugar = one pound, nine ounces. One pint closely packed butter = one pound. Three cupfuls sugar = one pound. Five cupfuls sifted flour = one pound. One tablespoonful salt = one ounce. Seven tablespoonfuls granulated sugar = one half pint. Twelve tablespoonfuls flour = one pint. Three coffee cupfuls = one quart. Ten eggs = one pound.

Buying Food

The purchase of food is an important item of expense in operating a boys' camp, large or small. If the camp is a large one, one hundred or more boys, and you have a good-sized refrigerator and storehouse, always purchase in bulk form from a wholesale firm. Canned goods, such as peas, tomatoes, corn, and apples, buy in gallon cans in case lots and save cost of extra tin and labels. Cocoa may be purchased in five-pound cans. Condensed milk (unsweetened) in 20-ounce cans. Flour and sugar by the barrel. Beans by the bushel. Butter by the firkin[1]. For instance, a good heavy 200-pound hind quarter of beef will furnish a roast beef dinner, a steak breakfast, a meat stew supper, a meat hash breakfast, and a good thick soup full of nourishment from the bones. The suet may be rendered into lard. There will be no waste, and you get the very best of meat. Buy lamb whole and fowl cleaned, and eggs by the crate. Keep an accurate inventory, also the cost of foods. It will be found interesting to make a resume of food at the end of each season, listing quantities, costs, and amounts used each day and ascertain the actual cost per day for each boy.

[Transcriber's Footnote 1: About 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons (34 liters).]

The following "Grocery List" is for a large camp, but it will serve also to form the basis of providing for small camps:



Sugar (granulated)

Beans, yellow

Beans, red kidney



Oatmeal (in bulk)


Toasted Corn Flakes

Cream of Wheat

Shredded Wheat

Salt (table)

Salt (rock)

Pepper, black





Baking Powder

Cream of Tartar

Magic yeast

Raisins (seeded)



Graham flour

Corn starch




Evaporated fruits

Codfish cakes



Ginger Snaps

Pilot Biscuits




Kitchen Boquet (for gravy)

Chocolate cake


Olive Oil







Sapolio [soap]

Gold Dust

Laundry soap

Mustard (dry)

Mustard (prepared in mugs);

Chow Chow



Chili Sauce



Dried beef

Salt pork




Kerosene oil

Lantern wicks

Chloride of Lime.


Corn; Sliced peaches; Tomatoes; Shredded pineapple;

Peas; Strawberries; Lima beans; Clams (for chowder);

Beets; Condensed milk (unsweetened); Apples; Salmon;


The Steward

A reliable person should be in charge of the food supplies. In some camps he is called the Steward. He will see that the supply is sufficient, arrange the menus in consultation with the Chef, keep his storeroom neat and scrupulously clean. As a matter of record and for the purpose of ascertaining cost of feeding the boys, a number of camps keep a daily record like the illustrated form.

The Cook

The cook is the keynote of happiness or unhappiness. Get a good cook, professionally and morally, one who understands

that he is not in camp for a vacation. A capable cook will take care of fifty boys without any assistance, except what help the boys may render in the preparation of vegetables. For years two cooks have looked after the meals of 175 to 200 boys in the camps conducted each season by the writer. The wages of the head cook or chef range from two to three dollars and fifty cents a day. Some camps secure cooks from the hotels and restaurants, others from the lumber camps. No matter where he is secured, be sure that he is clean, in person, in habits, and in speech. Do not permit boys to loaf about the kitchen. In the planning of menus, food value and variety must be considered. The following represents the staple articles of food for a boys' camp.




Fruit: Bananas, raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, apples, stewed prunes, applesauce, baked apples, stewed apples, stewed apricots, stewed figs.

Cereals: Oatmeal, Shredded Wheat, Cream of Wheat, Toasted

Corn Flakes; corn meal mush and milk, Hominy Grits, Puffed Rice,


Eggs: Fried, boiled, scrambled, omelette, poached on toast.

Meats and Fish: Bacon, meat hash, meat stew, chopped meat on toast, codfish cakes, creamed codfish, fried fresh fish, creamed dried beef, fresh sausage.

Vegetables: Potatoes-Baked, creamed, mashed, browned, German fried; baked beans.

Drinks: Cocoa, milk, coffee (only occasionally), pure water.

Bread: Toasted bread, corn bread, muffins, biscuits, hot cakes.


Soups: Old-fashioned vegetable soup, bean soup, clam or fish chowder, corn chowder. Thick soups are preferable for camps.

Meats: Roasts-beef, lamb, chicken. Stews--beef, lamb, Steak, Fricassee of chicken, fricassee of lamb, haricot of lamb, pot roast of beef, Hamburg steak, corned beef, boiled ham, meat pie.

Fish: Baked, fried, boiled; escalloped salmon, salmon croquettes.

Vegetables: Potatoes-mashed, boiled, French fried, browned. Cabbage. Corn-stewed, escalloped, corn pie, corn on cob. Peas- creamed with carrots. Lima beans. Summer squash. Tomatoes- stewed, escalloped, au gratin with tomatoes. Apple sauce, creamed onions; cabbage slaw. Greens-spinach, beet tops.

Desserts: Ice Cream-vanilla, chocolate, strawberry (preserved),

raspberry, lemon, coffee, caramel, peach, pineapple (shredded),

orange, lemon. Sherbet-lemon, orange, pineapple, raspberry. Rice

pudding, plain with fruit sauce, rice with raisins. Tapioca pudding

with apples or fruit. Bread pudding. Cottage pudding, lemon sauce or

fruit sauce. Banana pudding. Sliced peaches with cream. Pie-apple,

blueberry, blackberry. Cornstarch pudding.


Cereals: Cream of Wheat, mush and milk, Shredded Wheat.

Cold Dishes: Sliced beef, ham, corned beef, potato salad, Cabbage slaw, pressed meats.

Hot Dishes: Irish stew, meat croquettes, frankfurters, potato cakes, baked beans, thick soups, stewed kidney beans. Potatoes-baked, fried, creamed. Creamed salmon with peas; codfish; macaroni and cheese; potato hash.

Desserts: Prunes, stewed apples, stewed apricots, fresh fruits, stewed pears, stewed figs.

Cakes: Gingerbread, sweetbread, cookies.

Relishes: Pickles beets, chow chow, piccalilli, watermelon spiced.

Drinks: Lemonade, iced tea, cocoa, hot milk.

Local geographical conditions will suggest a variety of dishes. There should be plenty of milk to drink, and good bread and butter. Cake and fancy dishes are not necessary. The bill of fare should be an elastic one. When the day is cold and dreary, hot chowders, soups, cocoa, etc., should be served.

On a warm day, lemonade and cold dishes are desirable. Every camp should, if possible, have its own ice-cream freezer, as ice-creams, sherbets, and water ices are not only healthy but inexpensive. An occasional delicacy is desirable. Canned shredded pineapple, strawberries and sliced peaches make excellent sherbets and ice cream. In one camp chicken and ice cream are served every Sunday dinner.

A Sample Week of Menus




Fried potatoes


Cream of tartar



Irish stew

Boiled potatoes

Green corn on cob

Apple tapioca

Bread and butter.


Fried eggs


Sweet cake

Bread and butter




Toasted Cornflakes

Fish cakes

Corn bread



Beef steak

Mashed potatoes


Corn starch


Bread and butter.


Vegetable soup

Stewed figs


Bread and butter.



Cream of Wheat

Meat hash


Bread and butter.


Roast lamb

Tomato sauce

Boiled potatoes

Lemon sherbet

Bread and butter.


Creamed fish

Apple sauce

Sweet cake

Bread and butter.



Shredded Wheat

Baked potatoes

Creamed codfish

Bread and butter



Boiled beef

Mashed potatoes

Corn starch

Pudding with

Strawberry sauce.


Creamed dried beef

Apple sauce


Bread and Butter.




Codfish cakes

Bread and butter



Fried weak fish

Stewed tomatoes

Boiled potatoes

Vanilla ice cream.


Vegetable soup

Bread and butter

Sweet cake.



Puffed Rice

Fried eggs

Bread and butter



Escalloped salmon


Boiled Tomatoes


Bread and butter.


Boston baked beans

Tomato catsup




Cream of Wheat


Fried mush and maple syrup



Roast chicken

Creamed onions

Mashed potatoes

Pineapple sherbet

Bread and butter.


Cold beef

Apple sauce

Sweet cake

Bread and butter.


Each table is provided with meat platter, vegetable dishes, bread plate, butter dish, sugar bowl, milk pitcher, water pitcher, salt and pepper shakers, etc. The only need of a waiter is to bring the food to the tables and replenish the dishes. Each boy takes his turn at waiting. If there are seven boys in a tent, a boy serves one day in seven. He usually sits at the right side of the leader and eats his meal with the others. This does away with a second or "waiter" table. By this system you avoid the tendency to smartness and roughness. Each leader is careful to see that food is not wasted at his table, that decency and order is preserved, and wholesome conversation and pleasantries indulged in during the meal, as an aid to good digestion.


Some camps pay for all work done and give boys more freedom, but experience has clearly proven that the successful camp is the one where boys all have responsibility and definite duties to perform. Dishwashing is never attractive. It may be made less irksome by carefully systematizing the work. There are several ways. One way is that of having each boy wash his own dishes, working a tent at a time. A number of tubs of hot, soapy water are provided for washing, and several extra tubs filled with very hot water for rinsing. At a signal from the Camp Director or person in charge, each table of boys by rotation passes from the dining room with the dishes to these tubs and each boy proceeds to do his own dishwashing and rinsing and drying. Another way is to provide two good-sized dish-pans for each table, and assign two boys to do the dish-washing for the day. The dishes are washed at the tables and stowed away in a closet, each table having its own closet. Another way is to purchase a good dish-washing machine, like that made by the Fearless Dishwashing Co., Rochester, N. Y. (Cost, $100), and install it in the kitchen. This plan is in operation at Camp Dudley and Camp Hayo-Went-Ha.

[Illustration: Camp Hayo-Went-Ha dishwashing]

Cleanliness must be insisted upon. Never leave anything unwashed until it is used again. The eating from dirty and greasy plates, forks, knives, and spoons will result in disease. No matter what system you use, do not let down on dirty dishes.



"Soup makes the soldier," said Napoleon I. Bones should never be thrown away, but cracked and placed in stock pot, covered with water and let simmer. This makes "stock" which is the foundation of all soup.

All green vegetables should be washed well in cold water and put in boiling salted water, and boiled slowly until tender. All white and underground vegetables should be cooked in boiling unsalted water, the salt being added at the last moment.

Potatoes take from twenty to thirty minutes to boil. In boiling and roasting allow about a quarter of an hour for every pound of meat. The fire should be medium hot. Boiled fish should be cooked ten minutes to each pound.


Water is the only true beverage. Forming as it does three-quarters of the weight of the human body, it is of next importance to the air we breathe. Milk is a food and not a beverage.


Peel or slice onions in water and you will not shed tears.

Egg Test

To test the freshness of an egg, drop into cold water. If the egg sinks quickly it is fresh, if it stands on end it is doubtful, and quite bad if it floats. The shell of a fresh egg looks dull; a stale one is glossy.

Mending Pots

A pot may be mended by making a paste of flour, salt and fine wood ashes.

Plaster it on where the leak is and let it dry before using.

Table Etiquette

A mother complained that her boy, after being in camp for two weeks, returned home speaking a new language, particularly at the dining table. If he wanted milk, he called for "cow," butter was "goat," biscuits were "sinkers," meat was "corpse," and there were several other terms and phrases peculiar to camp life. He had to learn all over the ways of decency and reasonable table refinement. There is no plausible reason why this should be so in a boys' camp. Grabbing of food, yelling for food, upsetting of liquids, and table "rough-house" will be largely prevented by the system of seating and of serving. The most satisfactory way is to seat by tent groups. Have as many tables as you have tents. Let each tent leader preside at the head of his table, and serve the food in family style. The leader serves the food, and sees that the boys observe the same delightful table life in camp as at home.

Grace at Meals

Grace should be said before each meal, either silently or audibly. In the morning the hymn on the following page is sung by the boys at Camp Becket, followed with bowed heads in silent prayer:


To be sung at morning meal

Words and Music by H. W. Gibbon.

[Illustration: Music]


Gracious Giver of all good,

Thee we thank for rest and food.

Grant that all we do or say

In Thy service be this day.


Father for this noonday meal

We would speak the praise we feel,

Health and strength we have from Thee,

Help us, Lord, to faithful be.


Tireless guardian of our way,

Thou hast kept us well this day.

While we thank Thee, we request

Care continued, pardon, rest.

-Camp Wawayanda.

[Illustration: Forest scene]

Go abroad upon the paths of Nature,

And when all its voices whisper, and its silent things

Are breathing the deep beauty of the world-

Kneel at its ample altar.-Bryant.

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